Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wednesday, 12 September

Finally in the Bay Area. But first we needed to make another trip back to Napa to have lunch with Jean's friend Emily and her husband David. We rolled out relatively early (for us) and headed back north to Napa (after the usual Magazine St. confusion). We got to Napa a little early so we decided to go see the Artesa winery that had been recommended for its scenery.

Once more the map did not correspond accurately to the territory, but with a little back-tracking we found the entrance near the end of a dead-end road. The driveway was well paved and wound up a hill to the top. There we found the building.

It was not one of the neo-Tuscan villas or French chalets commonly favored for these things but a turf-covered building that looked like an extension of the hill. There is a stairway up to the second level where there is a tasting room and gallery featuring the work of a local artist.

There are ponds at the top, channels for the water to run down beside the stairs,

and a fountain with sculpture at the bottom. All around are red and white crepe myrtles, the first we had seen since Virginia.

And the scenery is indeed impressive. You look out on ranges of hills covered, or mostly covered, with vineyards. In the distance we could just make out the top of San Francisco Bay (technically San Pablo Bay) through the haze. We didn't actually taste the wine ($10) because we had to leave shortly to make our luncheon date. Maybe another time.

We then proceeded to Emily and David's house. This is on the side of a hill wit h a nice view of its own. The house itself is a kit house built mostly from recycled materials --- beams from old warehouses back East, etc. We had a long lunch, with lots of conversation of the "do you remember so-and-so" type so that by the time we headed back down the road for Berkeley (and made a couple of necessary food and gas stops) we ran into the rush hour.

We were inbound so we didn't hit heavy traffic until just before our exit.

We caught up with Gene's son Bruce at his shop and spent several hours talking. It was late when we headed out. Bruce led us (in his art car ---more on that scene tomorrow) to a very good Mexican restaurant, with dining in, take-out, and even curbside pickup.

 We finally got back to the RV park late, after getting confused on Magazine St. again. It would be nice if the street were straight and not so easy to confuse with a freeway on ramp. We will learn our way in and out eventually.

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